Saturday, April 4, 2009

Quarters and Nickels and Dimes Oh My!

Our kids love playing with coins (and managed to con my parents out of all their change) so yesterday I thought I'd give this little activity a try. I printed out labels with the names of the coins and pictures of them and taped them to plastic containers I've saved (mainly from shredded parmesan cheese...we go through a lot of that here). I wanted the kids to put the coins in the proper container.

I'm not entirely sure what they learned, but here's what I learned:

1. First Daughter could not even separate the pennies from the rest. Since I know she knows the difference between brown and gray/silver, I'm guessing she was just too excited by the feel of the coins in her hands and the joys of pouring them back out of the containers (which did not please First Son, perhaps an added benefit for her).

2. First Son could not understand the fact that the pictures on the containers were not actual size. He would hold the coins up and if they matched the diameter (which they did surprisingly often when the coin was wrong), he was satisfied.

3. First Son cannot tell the difference between a quarter and a nickel. At first I was a little dismayed by this difficulty because they seem totally different to me, but Kansas Dad assures me the nickel has smooth edges because it's so similar to the quarter, so those who can't see well enough can easily feel the difference between the quarter and the nickel. (I've been married to the man for a decade and am still astounded at all the things he just knows!).

4. The kids love playing with coins. (Oh wait, I already knew that.)

I think we'll get these containers out again every so often because even if they don't learn anything, they had fun. I will, however, have to watch Second Daughter like a hawk because there's a good chance First Daughter would leave the coins lying around or just go ahead and feed them to her sister.


  1. What a good idea! I will have to do that someday, too. I think that money is coming up at the end of the year for our math curriculum; this would be a great complement to that.

    I read your other post, also. I, too, can't hardly bear to let the kids paint. It is right up there with Play Dough, something else I hate. But then I realized that I don't mind that stuff OUTSIDE, so painting has become a warm-weather activity. The only disadvantage is when it becomes too windy and our papers blow away. :) But other than that, we paint and then the children dry their work in the safety of the garage while we leave all the remains to wash away when the sprinklers run. It's a good compromise, I guess.

    I only get Play Dough out about twice a year, but I do encourage the making of mud pies (outside where they belong), so I figure we are doing okay. Right? Hmmm...

  2. Brandy, I'll have to see if we can paint outside. The constant wind may be a hindrance, but once our outbuilding is completed we may have some other options.

    Play-Doh doesn't bother me as much as painting. I just leave the little pieces under the table until after the next meal, sweep them up and throw them away. I fully support mud pies...though I haven't yet ventured outside on muddy days with the baby in tow. Getting outside on less than ideal days is a challenge for me, one I think I really must conquer (or at least battle occasionally) for my homeschooling to be successful.

  3. Funny...I come back in here only to learn that I can't even spell Play-Doh. I am that. bad.

    Anyhow, I have the advantage because we have a totally secure area in which the children can wander without needing my supervision. I suppose that is debateable as they do manage to get into a significant amount of mischief, but I mean they cannot get too far away, nor can strangers/wild animals approach them, etc. So when I say I let them make mud pies (or statues or whatever with mud), please know that I am safely inside, watching from a window, nursing the baby. I am really not that great. :)

    I admire you about the Play-Doh, by the way. It's not so much the floor. I need a cover for my table. The Play-Doh gets stuck in the grooves of the wooden planks in my table (we do not have a smooth top) and then it looks funny for a week!

    By the way, my sister used to give my nephews water and different types of paint brushes and let them paint outside. They would "paint" the trees, the house, whatever, and it would dry as if nothing happened. I plan to encourage this on windy days when they are begging for painting.

  4. Brandy, I envy you and your window. We are much too close to a very busy highway for me to feel comfortable with the kids outside without me. Eventually, when we build our dream house, I'll have a window that overlooks the backyard, with a door for quick access to a fenced-in area for the little ones. With my luck, we'll build it in fifteen years and I won't have little ones anymore.

  5. Sounds like how I feel about the cow I want the kids to grow up milking. It'll probably end up being my baby when I have no babies left to raise. :(

    Oh well. I suppose that is why there is that wisdom about blooming where we are planted. :)


Comments make me happy; thanks for speaking up!